By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
Character has always been a central theme of any presidential candidate running for office and Joe Biden is no different. However Biden has staked his entire candidacy on running against the character and the perceived corruption of President Donald Trump.
Biden’s character has been called into question with the alleged corruption of his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Burisma a corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company.
A report issued by both the Senate Homeland Security Committee Chaired by Republican Ron Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chair Republican Chuck Grassley completed a year-long investigation into Hunter Biden’s role as a board member for Burisma. This report put together by both Senate committee’s which examined Hunter Biden’s extensive and complex financial transactions as it relates to his participation as a member of the board of directors at Barisma.
When the senate report was released both the media and the Democratic Party reacted with such distain calling it a partisan which hunt by Senate Republicans. Joe Biden mentioned that this is a just a mere distraction from the failure of President Trump and his administration.
Would the media be so dismissive of this report if it was written by two committee’s chaired by Democrats in a Democratic controlled Senate with the target being Donald Trump or anyone in his family?
This report shows how Hunter Biden whose father was the vice president for President Barack Obama, who served as a member of the Burisma board of directors from which the U.S. State Department viewed Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky as corrupt and wanted no association with either one of them.
Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma posed serious issues for the Obama-Biden administration. With Hunter Biden’s father serving as Vice President of the United States, simultaneously the Obama-Biden administration was intently focused on corruption in Ukraine for which Joe Biden was the U.S. central representative.
The Senate report details in-depth how Hunter Biden profited from his father’s position as vice president in Ukraine and China, as the countries in question knew they were buying influence by sheer association. What the report didn’t show is what did the individuals in the Ukraine and China receive in return for their association with Hunter Biden? Did U.S. policy or business interests change because of this association? Will further investigations by the Department of Justice be looking into this in more depth?
As the report stated, in 2014, Hunter Biden was hired by the Ukrainian gas company Burisma to “consult” on corporate governance. This was weeks then Vice President Biden was appointed by President Obama to lead U.S. efforts in assisting Ukrainians to fight corruption.
The report highlighted that on April 16, 2014, Vice President Biden met with his son’s business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House. Five days later, Vice President Biden visited Ukraine, and he soon after was described in the press as the “public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.” The day after his visit, on April 22, Archer joined the board of Burisma. Six days later, on April 28, British officials seized $23 million from the London bank accounts of Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Fourteen days later, on May 12, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, and over the course of the next several years, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were paid millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch for their participation on the board.
Later Devon Archer would be convicted with two other defendants’ in a Manhattan Federal Court in June 2018, for the fraudulent issuance and sale of more than $60 million of tribal bonds following a five and half week trial before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams.
In November, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams ruled that evidence at the trail had not shown that, Devon Archer knew that the bond issue was fraudulent, or that he received any personal benefit from it. Abrams said she was “left with an unwavering concern that Archer is innocent of the crimes charged.”
Judge Abrams had been nominated to her current position by then President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2012 with a vote of 96-2. She was to preside over a case in which Donald trump was to be sued regarding alleged violation of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clause of the U.S. constitution, but recused herself when her husband Greg Donald Andres served with Robert Mueller on the Special Counsel investigation
Various news affiliates and others had revealed that Hunter Biden had no experience in Ukraine, natural gas, finances, or could speak Ukrainian or Russian. Would anyone else be given such a plum assignment with such a thin resume and was not the son of a sitting Vice President of the United States?
The report cites emails that Hunter Biden requested meetings with State Department officials after being appointed to Burisma board of directors. Even a U.S. lobbying firm working for Burisma had used Hunter Biden’s name in seeking State Department meetings.
One of the key findings of the report stating that in early 2015 the former Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, George Kent, raised concerns to officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent’s concerns went unaddressed, and in September 2016, he emphasized in an email to his colleagues, “Furthermore, the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”
The same report also mentioned that in October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.
It is noted that in September 2019, Joe Biden stated that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” this was the beginning saga to Trump’s impeachment over his conversation with the incoming Ukrainian leader.
Would the media or Democrats be so dismissive of this report if Trump or his family had made contradicting statements?
The report doesn’t implicate Joe Biden, nor was he the prime focus of the investigation, but it does contradict what Biden had stated last year of not knowing of his son’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.
The two Senate committees were aware that Kent believed that Hunter’s role on the board of Burisma was problematic for the U.S. which was in the mists of pushing an anti-corruption policy in Ukraine. The Committees are only aware of Kent and former U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein — who raised concerns to Vice President Joe Biden (Hochstein) or his staff (Kent).
Even former Secretary of State John Kerry in the Obama administration found it awkward and had knowledge of Hunter’s role on the Barisma board, even mentioning he knew of his role. Kerry denied having knowledge about it when asked at a town hall event in Nashua, N.H. on Dec. 8, 2019, Kerry falsely said, “I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No.” Evidence in Section V of the report contradicts Kerry’s denial.
John Kerry’s step-son Christopher Heinz has pulled out of the Burisma deal with Hunter Biden.
Would the media and Democrats be so dismissive of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for making contradictory statements regarding Trump or his family?
The very fact that Joe Biden’s son was on the board of directors of Burisma placed an undue burden on career-service individuals who were fighting for anticorruption polices in Ukraine. One of the conclusions of the report mentions that because the vice president’s son had a direct link to a corrupt company and its owner, State Department officials were required to maintain situational awareness of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Unfortunately, U.S. officials had no other choice but to endure the “awkward[ness]” of continuing to push an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine while the vice president’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with a corrupt owner, earning tens of thousands of dollars a month.
The Wall Street Journal wrote that former State official George Kent writing to superiors in 2016 that Hunter’s Burisma position made it “very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine.” He testified that officials had to worry about “opponents” saying “What about Hunter Biden?” State Department email chains show U.S. officials mulling how to handle the Hunter problem.
Various Committee documents showed that throughout the Obama presidency Hunter’s businesses received millions of dollars from foreigners including a $3.5 million wire transfer in 2014 from Russian billionaire Elena Baturina, the wife of the late Yury Luzhkow the former mayor of Moscow.
A question left unanswered is why Hunter Biden was allowed to be on the board of directors of Burisma, when the State Department viewed Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, as corrupt and refused any association with either?
During this period U.S. officials pressed Ukrainian officials to hold Zlochevsky accountable for corruption. At the same time Vice President Biden was leading the Obama administration efforts of pushing anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine, but talking points prepared by Biden’s staff refused to have the vice president get into naming names or individuals who were corrupt.
Why was this?
The report mentioned that On December 9, 2015, Vice President Biden spoke in Ukraine in front of the parliament of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, and told the members that they are facing a “test of courage” and have an “obligation” to Ukrainians to reform their country to “build a united, democratic Ukrainian nation that can stand the test of time.” In doing so, Biden stated that Ukrainians have “a historic battle against corruption.”
It’s interesting to note as Biden was calling out the Ukrainian government to do more about systematic corruption in their country and stating that oligarchs and non-oligarchs must play by the same rules as do ordinary citizens. Unfortunately, what Biden stated openly was far different from what his staff was doing behind the scene.
One of the conclusions in the report mentioned that several witnesses highlighted efforts by certain U.S. officials to enable a successful investigation of Zlochevsky, and also noted that the U.S. decision to condition a $1 billion loan guarantee was made in part because of the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general’s failure to pursue a case against Zlochevsky. But at the end of the day, between 2014 through 2017, despite the concerted effort of many U.S. officials, not one of the three different Ukrainian prosecutor generals held Zlochevsky accountable.
During the time that Hunter served as a member of the board of directors for Burisma, the owner of the company, Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to the office of Ukraine’s prosecutor general to close the case.
It’s noted that in a video clip from Joe Biden’s appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018, the former Vice President openly stated that aid was conditional on firing the state prosecutor investigating corruption of Burisma. The state prosecutor was fired.
The report also mentions that Hunter scheduled hundreds of trips while he was a United States Secret Service protectee, and this also includes while he was a Burisma board member. What is not known is whether Hunter Biden conducted any additional private business dealings while a protectee. Further, the Committees didn’t know why Hunter Biden declined USSS protection, and whether or not media scrutiny was a factor for Hunter to decline protection in July 2014.
Joe Biden has been asked about his son, Hunter Biden, joining him on foreign trips to China while he was vice president. In response to questions about whether this arrangement was a conflict of interest, Joe Biden has told the media, “I have never spoken to my son [Hunter] about his overseas business dealings.” The USSS records indicate Hunter Biden scheduled at least six trips to China while a protectee, including a trip to Beijing in May 2014 right before he joined Burisma’s board:
During his December 2013 trip to China, Hunter Biden flew on Air Force Two, Hunter Biden admitted he met with a Chinese banker. According to news reports, Hunter Biden appeared to be conducting his own private business during this specific trip and was working to secure a deal in the hopes of creating a Chinese equity fund.
Shortly after this trip Hunter Biden came away with $1.5 billion to BHR Partners from which Hunter Biden is one of the nine directors of the firm. This company is controlled and primarily funded by the Chinese governments owned shareholders. How could Hunter Biden secure this with no financial experience or any knowledge of China and or couldn’t even speak the language.
With all the attention on President Trump during his impeachment over his phone call with the newly elected Ukrainian president. The media failed its journalistic ethics as to why when the report mentioned that in 2016, Andrii Telizhenko was an official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington. In that position, Telizhenko met several times with Obama administration officials, a consultant for the Democratic National Committee, and the Democrat lobbying firm, Blue Star Strategies (which later employed him from 2016 to 2017). Blue Star Strategies officials continued to contact and request his assistance as recently as the summer of 2019.
According to documents in the report on July 19, 2013 these same individuals attended a meeting at the White House with Lyn Debevoise, director for Central and Eastern European Affairs at the NSC and two other Ukrainians. Telizhenko at this present moment was the counselor to a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament. It’s unclear what was discussed at this meeting.
The report mentioned Telizhenko’s interactions with Obama administration officials became more frequent starting in January 2016. According to a document with a DOJ logo, a Ukrainian delegation that included senior-level Ukrainian prosecutors arrived in Washington on Jan. 18, 2016. The agenda shows that their first official meeting was confirmed for Jan. 19, 2016, at the White House, from 11 a.m. to noon with “Eric Ciaramella, Elizabeth [sic] Zentos and others TBD, National Security Council.”
One of the conclusions from the report, The Obama administration and the Democrat lobby shop Blue Star Strategies had consistent and extensive contact with Andrii Telizhenko over a period of years. Yet despite these well-documented contacts with Democratic officials, Democrats have attempted to impugn this investigation for having received some Blue Star-related records from him. Some Democrats have even (incorrectly) identified Telizhenko as the Committees’ “star witness.”
Although Hunter Biden released a small number of Blue Star-related records to the Committees, the Committees never interviewed him as part of this investigation. Nonetheless, Democrats have claimed that Telizhenko is involved in a Russian disinformation campaign. Even though almost all of the Committees’ records are from U.S. agencies and U.S. officials or persons, Democrats have repeatedly misconstrued the facts of this investigation. In doing so, they conveniently have ignored their own long history of meeting with Telizhenko and his year-long work for a Democrat lobby shop.
If Democrats are concerned that Telizhenko presents any risk of advancing disinformation, it is notable that the Ranking Members have not expressed any curiosity about his work with the Obama administration or Blue Star Strategies.
We know that when Hunter Biden served on the board of directors for Burisma he was being paid a sum of $50,000 a month while his father Vice President Joe Biden was the point person for the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. The report mentioned other examples of Hunter Biden and other family members to include business associates pursuing financial arrangements with foreign nationals in other areas of the world.
The report mentioned that Treasury records acquired by the Chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals. In particular, these documents show that Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built during the period when his father was vice president of the United States and after.
The report continued to show that Hunter Biden and Devon Archer engaged in numerous financial transactions with Chinese nationals who had deep connections to the Communist Chinese government. These Chinese nationals included Ye Jianming, founder of CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd (CEFC) and chairman of the board for its subsidiary, the China Energy Fund Committee (CE Fund). They also included Gongwen Dong, who was Ye Jianming’s associate and reportedly executed transactions for his companies. Ye’s connections to the Communist government are extensive and, as explained below, he has been previous affiliations with the People’s Liberation Army. Based on the information received by the Committees, Ye was also financially connected to Vice President Biden’s brother, James Biden. Thus, there exists a vast web of corporate connections and financial transactions between and among the Biden family and Chinese nationals.
The question remains if this where Donald Trump or his family would Democrats and the media dismiss this without any investigations? Remember the impeachment of Trump over a phone call to the newly elected Ukrainian president, how would the media or Democrats react if the Trump family was involved in Ukraine and China while there father, was president?
So far nothing has been proven to suggest illegal activity, but it does warrant a thorough investigation and not partisan denials by Democrats and their surrogates in the media are not sufficient to dismiss this.